Former chief minister of Indian-held Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah, said Friday India had no option but to hold talks with Pakistan over Kashmir, The Indian Express reported.

Addressing a function in Chenab Valley alongside his son Omar Abdullah, Farooq said, “Pakistan is one of the stakeholders (of the Kashmir issue) which even the government of India has accepted.”

“Government will have no option but to start talks with Pakistan so that the atrocities through which people of Jammu and Kashmir are undergoing will come to an end.”

The former chief minister also questioned India’s claim over Azad Kashmir. “It is not the personal property of India so that it could make a claim over it like an inherited property of forefathers,” said Farooq Abdullah.

The Kashmir dispute gained heat after the death of a prominent Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani, who was killed in an encounter with Indian forces in July.

Relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours further deteriorated after armed men killed at least 19 Indian soldiers at an army camp in Uri sector of held Kashmir.

India claimed the four attackers belonged to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad group. New Delhi had also blamed the same group for the attack at the Pathankot air base in January, in which at least seven army men were killed.

Pakistan angrily dismissed the charges and the country’s Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said that India leveled allegations without investigations.

In September, India’s Director General of Military Operations, Lt-Gen Ranbir Singh, claimed that Indian Special Forces had crossed into Azad Kashmir and conducted ‘surgical strikes at terror launch-pads’.

Frequent border skirmishes have continued between the two counties along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary that have resulted in casualties on both sides.

On Thursday, outgoing Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif, said that if Pakistan were to conduct a surgical strike then India would remember it for ages to come.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars over Kashmir, a decades-old dispute, which has resulted in thousands of deaths on both sides of the border.